Rooster hurting hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Alm100, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. Alm100

    Alm100 Hatching

    3
    4
    6
    Oct 20, 2019
    I ended up with three roosters, got rid of two but kept one since he seemed to get along with the flock. Lately I have three hens that seem terrified of him. They run in panic if he come near them. All the other hens seem to get along with him and I have two baby chicks that hatched recently that he doesn’t bother. Tonight when I went to shut the coop I noticed one hens head was bloody and looked really bad. I plan to hatch more chicks in the spring but I don’t think my hens should live in fear. Should I get rid of him or is there anything I can do?
     

    Attached Files:

    slordaz likes this.
  2. mymilliefleur

    mymilliefleur Keeper of the Flock

    5,962
    1,237
    362
    Nov 4, 2014
    East Tennessee.
    How old is the rooster? If he's young he may just be going through a punky stage, and will get more docile with the hens after he matures a little more. You might want to try keeping him separate for a little while, especially if he is injuring the hens. Maybe those three are his favorites, and he is overbreeding them?
     
    Morrigan and slordaz like this.
  3. Alm100

    Alm100 Hatching

    3
    4
    6
    Oct 20, 2019
    He’s a year old, and he mates with all the other hens but I rarely see him with those three... the one that is injured puts up a fight before he finally mounts her.
     
    slordaz likes this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    68,056
    64,365
    1,477
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    How many birds total do you have....in how much space??
    Any cockbird that did that to one of my girls would be stew.
     
  5. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Crowing

    2,690
    7,589
    477
    Mar 5, 2019
    SE Missouri, USA
    What she said. Are there obstacles the hens can hide under, dodge around, etc., to get away from this young jerk? I had a cockerel and an older roo. The roo made a bachelor out of the cockerel for about a year, kept him isolated away from the hens. Kinda sad. But then the old roo attacked me and his number was up, and now the cockerel - now a rooster - is the nicest flock master you could hope for. That year of isolation taught him respect like nothing else could have done.
     
  6. Acre4Me

    Acre4Me Crowing

    2,914
    5,749
    437
    Nov 12, 2017
    Western Ohio
    I agree with adding visual disruptions to the run area. Also, additional feed and water if only one of each. More food and water access in separate areas.

    nice to hear that the cockerel became good flock master after a year of “training”. We currently have a 5.5 month old that is hormonal and tries to jump the pullets when he gets the chance, but rooster usually thwarts his attempts or reprimands him. That along with older hens, will hopefully help him become a good rooster. We will get rid of current rooster as he is aggressive towards me, but will keep him until this younger one is around a year old. Here is the up and coming boy sporting several wounds to his comb:
    4A1BB361-94B8-4615-89AA-FE3FD49201A2.jpeg
     
    slordaz likes this.
  7. Alm100

    Alm100 Hatching

    3
    4
    6
    Oct 20, 2019
    I have 9 hens, plus two chicks that I’m not sure what they are yet. They probably have almost half an acre to their self, and there are big weeds and a dog house.. there is food and water outside and inside the coop. Should I get more things to be able to hid in?
     
    BigBlueHen53 and slordaz like this.
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    23,834
    11,288
    707
    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I'm still not sure how old those three hens are or what is going on. Not sure how long this has been going on either.

    I had a cockerel once that was raised with the flock, which consisted of some pullets his age and some older hens. I removed the mature rooster when the cockerel was 5 to 6 months old. As he matured, some pullets and some hens let him mate them. Some were not as accommodating. By the time he was about 11 months all but the dominant hen had accepted him. But the dominant hen would knock him off if he tried to mate with another hen or pullet. She was the boss!!

    But at 11 months he'd matured enough so that he had had enough. Instead of running from her he started attacking her. For two days he kept her away from the rest of the flock. He wasn't just trying to mate with her, he was charging her and pecking at her head. After two days she finally accepted his dominance. She remained the dominant hen and she became best buddies with him. It became a really peaceful flock but for two days she had it really rough.

    I partially blame the cockerel. He was so slow-maturing he let the situation go on too long. I prefer my cockerels to reach this level by 7 months or so, the flock takeover seems to go smoother. I partially blame the hen. Her unwillingness to recognize she had lost her position of flock master put her in danger. I hold my females responsible for their actions just as much as the males.

    I don't know if this has anything to do with what you are seeing or not. Sometimes a rooster senses a weakness or disease in other chickens and runs them out of his flock. The hens can do that too. I've seen a chicken just develop a strong dislike toward another individual, strong enough to want to kill them. That was between cockerels, no females involved. It is often hard to know what is going on. Give it some time and it may solve itself or you may wind up with a dead chicken. I don't know which.

    I try to solve for the peace and benefit of the flock, not any one individual. Why do you want the rooster? The only reason you need one is if you want fertile eggs, sounds like you do since you are hatching. If he is getting along great with the rest of the flock, you might consider getting rid of those hens instead. Or give it some time and see if it works out.

    A half acre! That is a lot of room. The benefit of putting clutter is to improve the quality of your space by breaking the line of sight when space is fairly tight. With a half acre and 11 chickens that's close to 2,000 square feet per chicken, two of those chicks. Your space is not anywhere close to tight.
     
    mymilliefleur and slordaz like this.
  9. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Crowing

    2,690
    7,589
    477
    Mar 5, 2019
    SE Missouri, USA
    The dog house is a dead end, they can get trapped in there. Think of things like a pallet leaned against the fence, or two pallets leaning against each other in an A-frame configuration, forming a tunnel. An L-shaped tunnel would be good too, or even boards set against each other in an L-shaped wall.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: